Meet Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer: A man in SA’s power hot chair

Meet Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer: A man in SA’s power hot chair

JOHANNESBURG — With news that Eskom is anticipating to load shed during the early January again, it would appear that the embattled power provider’s dark times are far from over. The organization is saddled with huge financial obligation and extremely dirty, outdated coal plant technology. It’s a financial catastrophe waiting to occur. But because SA is full of monopolies (in addition to ANC federal government is intent on perpetuating them) South Africans sit having a problem that is massive their fingers which has been needlessly self-created. But, there are a lot more than capable individuals inside Eskom while the COO Jan Oberholzer seems to have a feeling of rationality pertaining to the ongoing future of the state-owned electric company. In this meeting, EE publishers Chris that is’ Yelland Roger Lilly trapped with him. – Gareth van Zyl

By Chris Yelland and Roger Lilley*

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A energizing openness by Eskom’s management that is new been demonstrated in a special meeting with Eskom COO Mr Jan Oberholzer by EE writers. The meeting implemented dramatic developments when you look at the operations of Eskom in 2010, like the decrease into the utility’s generation plant performance, shortages of coal at energy channels in Mpumalanga, the return of phase 2 (2,000 MW) load that is shedding rolling blackouts around the world for per week ahead of the xmas festive season, as well as the statement by the COO of a nine-point want to deal with the functional problems.

Mr Oberholzer, please is it possible to make clear the functions and lines of authority between your Eskom CEO, COO, CFO as well as other Eskom Exco people? Whom states to who?

Eskom’s new structure is constructed on three pillars: strategy, finance and operations. Generally speaking, CEO Phakamani Hadebe may be the face of Eskom, accountable for strategy, appropriate and business affairs, hr and reputation administration. CFO Calib Cassim is in charge of the income, liquidity, finance, loans, treasury, opportunities, property, different help solutions and general control that is financial. As COO, i will be in charge of all Eskom’s operations: generation, transmission and circulation of electricity, main energy, coal and water, team money (which include new-build tasks), Rotek Industries, Eskom Enterprises, Eskom Research, Testing & Development (RT&D), danger and sustainability, and others. Eskom has ready A exco that is new organogram and I also will share this to you whenever finalised.

Do you know the biggest problems presently dealing with Eskom, which problems are you currently accountable for, and exactly exactly what keeps you awake through the night?

The largest problems dealing with Eskom are: financial obligation, liquidity and monetary sustainability, individuals problems – with individuals being our most significant asset, ensuring sufficient coal materials, decreasing generation plant performance and accessibility – triggered by planned upkeep outages, unplanned breakdowns and plant operating with lower production than ranked, and fast-rising municipal and Soweto arrear debt. From my place, my best issues would be the generation that is poor performance, ensuring sufficient coal materials when confronted with high export costs, as well as the danger of rainfall at the moment. Although we involve some 45GW of installed generation capability at our disposal, we actually have actually significantly less than 30GW of available capacity – plus the country’s load is more than 30GW. Therefore, for the present time, we have been grateful when it comes to season that is festive need is paid down. In connection with individuals problems, my issues are to make certain accountability by line supervisors, and having the proper individuals with the best mixture of abilities into the place that is right specially within generation.

Some would state the functional dilemmas at Eskom could be addressed offered enough work, money and time, but that the economic and ecological dilemmas presently dealing with Eskom are intractable. Could you concur?

Yes, i really do agree totally that whenever we are diligent, so we have the cash together with right individuals, we could resolve the functional issues – no doubt about this. But running in a world of severe monetary constraints, massive financial obligation and quickly increasing municipal and also worldwide arear financial obligation is a huge challenge, therefore the CFO will be better positioned to comment further with this. On ecological sustainability, you will find huge dilemmas concerning the burning of coal. Can we simply trade our way to avoid it for the situation that is current? No, we believe we shall need to do some plain things really differently towards the method they are done before – structurally, economically and environmentally.

Do you really believe Eskom could be came back to its previous glory, or perhaps is this a backward looking pipe-dream in the basically changed and changing realm of power?

No, we usually do not think days gone by are recaptured with Eskom keeping its form that is current as vertically incorporated monopoly. Can Eskom enhance its reputation, confidence and performance? Yes, i really believe we could, but we’ve plenty of strive to do Worcester escort reviews in order to accomplish this, including training and abilities development. The entire world changed notably since those days that are past and you can find pressures for improvement in the vitality sector. The existing framework as a vertically incorporated business and solitary electricity customer might not be the structure that is best and business structure money for hard times, and force from industry w209
ill force Eskom to alter to accommodate the realities that are new. Our president, Mr Jabu Mabuza, has recently stated that the Eskom operations of generation, transmission and circulation might in the future be ring-fenced and addressed as independent devices with a company focus, with line supervisors empowered to really make the decisions that are necessary success, and held in charge of the outcome.

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